The following is dedicated in the Spirit of Love and Truth to my beloved Brother in Christ Jesus (Yeshua HaMashiach), Pastor Curtis Taylor of Beit Lechem Ministries.
Pastor Curtis has been blessed with tremendous insights into the spiritual meaning of scripture, especially as it concerns Torah/Tenakh (The Old Testament) and it’s relationship to B’rit Hadashah (The New Testament). He also has rightly perceived how that the church as a whole, especially since the 4th century, in departing from it’s Hebrew roots, has in many cases supplanted the teachings and commands of scriptures with traditions based upon a greco-roman/pagan mindset, resulting in all sorts of errors, misunderstandings, and confusion.
This friend of mine, after a lifetime of pastoring, because of his keen perception of the spiritual meaning of scripture, is no longer certain of a literal and physical 2nd coming. He’s seen how Christians have hyper-focused upon this concept to their own detriment (as well as their potential service to Christ and a lost world) in a multitude of ways. One of the statements he often makes is “If we don’t know the God of Who Is we will miss the God of Who is to Come.” I think this is extremely profound, as it’s essentially a call to redirect our focus towards our relationship with God today, and how He can use us, be with us, help us, and teach us today; and therefore how we as His people can fulfill our role and calling to be the light of the world today. That rather than praying to be removed from the refining fire of trials, temptations, and darkness of life, we should learn to praise Him and rely on Him through them and shine all the more, allowing the Master Potter to shape our earthen vessels according to His will, for His glory and our good.
The other thing I admire about this brother in Christ is that he is a great example of a believer who has his priorities straight. He essentially preaches that the most important thing is the spiritual condition of our hearts towards God, the brethren, and a lost world; and that if we get this right, everything else will fall into place. He has an exceeding fervent zeal, and is “sold out” for the Lord. He calls for us to be broken and maintains that “doctrine is like body odor”, it must be tolerated, and shouldn’t be a divisive issue (so long as the fundamentals of The Faith are agreed upon of course). That we should embrace our different views, while embracing one another in love and pressing together, that we may become one, even as Messiah Yeshua (Jesus) prayed, rather than thousands of sects of “christianity” fighting each other, when in reality what we should be fighting, is our own personal sin and lukewarmness!
I couldn’t agree with him more concerning the primacy of these matters. Because the crux of the matter is this: whether by death or by “rapture” a personal ‘end’ for each living individual is inevitable, and will come ‘in the twinkling of an eye’ (in light of eternity), and therefore we should live everyday, heartily unto the Lord, as if it were our last, that when our time comes, we may “die well”. We as Bible-believing followers of “The Way” should always be ready to stand before our Lord and give an account, that no matter when our time come, we may confidently say “Lord I laid down my life for you, and gave it my all”. Not that we believe this could ever afford salvation of course, but rather because we love Him and we see it as our “reasonable service” and the clear instructions of scripture.
Nonetheless, we must also keep in mind that, according to scripture, doctrine is still extremely important (1 Tim. 4:16, 1 Thess. 5:21). The Apostle Paul went as far as to liken doctrine to the name and character of the God we serve (1 Tim. 6:1), and that we should separate on the grounds of doctrine in certain cases (Rom. 16:17). In fact he even stated that oneness amongst believers would not take place until there was doctrinal unity (Eph. 4:13-14, see also Am. 3:3). Now again, don’t get me wrong, I obviously don’t believe the issue of 2nd coming is worth breaking fellowship or getting worked up over. Nonetheless, I am sure that God wants His people to be well informed and confident in their position concerning it, as well as what the scriptures teach as far as prophecy/doctrine in general; especially for the following two reasons: 1) so that we may fulfill our moral duty (Eph. 5:11, Acts 26:18, 1 Pet. 3:15, 1 Tim 5:20, etc.) of combating dangerous heresies of false prophets which tendeth towards unbelief/deception, and therefore ultimately spiritual death and 2) that we His people may be comforted through knowing what He has planned for us (Jn. 14:29, 15:15; 2 Pet. 1:19).
So we can definitely be sure He has given us sufficient evidence in His Word to come to a definite conclusion on the matter, and that there’s no reason we should have to maintain a position of uncertainty. Please bear in mind, my goal is not try and “convert” anyone to my point of view, but rather to relay what the Lord has revealed to me to be the definite and objective consensus of scripture (“old + new testaments”) concerning the literal/physical 2nd coming of Messiah.
And finally, I propose, in knowing that God puts nothing in His word in vain (i.e. as ‘filler’ not intended to be understood), but rather for a definite purpose and our edification; and since we read twice in scripture that God “was, and is, and is to come” (Rev. 1:8, 4:8); that it would be just as unwise to miss the ‘God of who is to come’ (or in other words the study of prophecy), as it would be to miss the ‘God of who is’, or the ‘God of who was.’ Balance is imperative, no aspect of God; our relationship with Him today, His dealings with mankind through the ages, nor his plans for us yet to be fulfilled, should be overemphasized or neglected. Prophecy was given for a purpose and likewise demands our careful study. Had not the 1st century Jews studied them, they would’ve missed their Messiah. That’s how the kings of the east knew how and when Messiah was to be Born, they had studied and understood the prophecies of Daniel 9, Michah 5:2, etc.
I pray above all that the following be a blessing, comfort, and increase the reader’s confidence in the soundness, inspiration, and unanimity of the Word of God. Even so, Amen.
The Traditional Jewish View
The ironic thing is, based on the scriptures, even traditional Jewish Rabbis such as Rambam and other expositors of the Talmud expected a literal and personal kingly reign of Messiah on earth (see articles Machiach Ben Josef, Rabbi Elias and Rabbi Kattina, Sanhedrin 96b-99a, etc.) Traditional Jewish interpretation also recognized Messiah’s priestly function, which is nearly universally rejected by the rabbinic school of thought of today. This often resulted in the notion of two Messiahs rather than a single Messiah with a double function (often referred to as ‘Mashiach ben Yosef’ and ‘Mashiach ben David’; see article linked above, also The Messiah.) In fact, Jewish thought traditionally saw the 7 day week as being prophetic: Two thousand years before Torah, two thousand years with Torah, two thousand years of Messiah, followed by a thousand year repose at which point the earth would be lay desolate, as well as a literal reign of messiah on earth from the throne of David (again refer to articles linked above). So this of course begs the question, how can there be a literal reign of Messiah on earth without a literal return?
And just for the record, it’s a generally accepted fact that it’s now been roughly 6,000 since God created man (see The Annals of the World by James Usser, Chronology of the Old Testament by Floyd Jones, How Old Is the Earth?, God’s 6000 Year Plan, etc.) But as the article Is There a 6,000 Year Plan? by Bob Thiel covers, the year according to the Jewish Calendar (5778) is not consistent with the actual year: some attribute this to an innocent miscalculation, but it’s more probable that this was deliberately done so that Yeshua would no longer fit the messianic 70 week prophecy of Daniel 9, and hence why there’s also a curse pronounced in the talmud against anyone who would seek to calculate or understand those prophecies. The actual current year, according to one calculation (based on the genealogies given in scripture) presented by Dr. Thiel in his article linked above, marks 2018 as being the official point of 6000 years.
A Balanced View
I must digress. Before we jump into the scriptures regarding second coming, I believe it’s important to lay some groundwork. I imagine most of what I shall outline will go without saying, but nonetheless, because of its fundamental nature, I just ask that the reader please bear with me, and take the time to detour and carefully/prayerfully consider the following, which because of it’s length I’m going to put in it’s own separate post: Proper Interpretation (Jew & Gentile: One.
2nd Coming According to Zechariah
And now to the scriptures. As we shall explore in the remainder of this discourse, the 2nd coming is contained in many places throughout both the Old and New testaments, in both explicit as well more subtle ways, and practically speaking it is the only interpretation that makes sense in light of the whole Word of God. To begin, lets start in the Tanakh, then we will jump to the single verse in the new testament, that ultimately holds the ‘key’ to settling the question of whether there will be a literal/physical second coming.
After the prophet Zechariah describes the literal and exact price of silver for which our Lord and Messiah would be sold, as well as prophesying of the literal wounds He would receive in His hands from being nailed to a cross (Zech. 12:12, 13:6), Zechariah goes on to describe what is plainly the second coming, let us read:
“Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee. For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south…the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee…And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one. And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.“-Zech. 14:1, 3-4, 9, 12
How could this not be literal when the rest of Zechariah’s prophecies were literally fulfilled?
2nd Coming in a Single Verse
But now to the single verse in the B’rit Hadashah which should serve as the lens through which the rest of the scriptures should be viewed because of its explicitness:
“This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.“-Acts 1:11
Notice that? He will come in the same manner in which he had then left the disciples, which of course was literally and physically before there eyes.
Furthermore, v.9 documents that His ascent to heaven was accomplished in a cloud. And how does the book of revelation describe Messiah? Coming with a cloud!! (Rev. 1:7, 14:14-20). And in Rev. 1:7 it’s plural, which is consistent with Jude 1:14 which states when he comes back he’s not coming alone, but with His saints!
It’s also worth noting that consistent with Pastor Curtis’ convictions, the disciples were rebuked when focusing on when this would take place!!! (Acts 1:6-7)
2nd Coming in ‘The Day of Atonement’
Next lets jump to the Torah and examine the details of Yom Kippur (The Day of Atonement). For brevity sake, I’m going to assume that the reader is at least somewhat familiar with these passages, as well the concept that the feast days and ceremonies committed to the Hebrews as outlined in the Old Testament were given chiefly as a prophetic outline of God’s plan of salvation for mankind. This notion is clearly and definitely established by Apostle Paul (Sha’ul) in his epistle to the Hebrews.
Now, what one finds when the passages in Leviticus are compared with those in Revelation is that they’re inexorably linked, and again, as the reader will see, give us another key as to how prophecy will be fulfilled and should be interpreted.
In Leviticus 16 we read of the Scapegoat or “aza’zel” (Strong’s H5799) who is not uncommonly viewed as a symbol of satan, even in traditional Judaism (p.739-740, Daniel and Revelation by Uriah Smith, Easton Bible Dictionary, p.530, 547-551 Practical Lessons from the Experience of Israel for the Church of to-day by “F.C. Gilbert-a Hebrew Christian”, etc.). Now, after the Lord’s sacrifice was offered (Messiah), the azazel was to be presented alive before the Lord (v. 10) to finally receive upon himself the iniquities of all of God’s people (v. 21, as the originator of sin), at which point he was to be sent by “a fit man into the wilderness” or ‘separation’, a “land not inhabited” (v. 22). This is very evidently paralleled in Revelation 20 which states Satan will be thrown into a “bottomless pit” by an angel (v. 1-3), to be finally destroyed at a latter point (v. 10, also keep in mind passages such as Isaiah 14:12-17). So while the Millennial reign takes place in heaven, satan and the fallen angels will be left for a thousand years in the desolate and destroyed earth which they ultimately inspired (Jer 4:23-26, Is. 24:18-22; see also p.533, Practical Lessons From the Experience of Israel for the Church of to-day by “F.C. Gilbbert-a Hebrew Christian“), and then eventually to receive their final recompense (along with the rest of those who received not Christ) at the Great White Throne Judgment, at which point God creates a new heaven & earth which shall abide forever more (this is all laid out in Rev. 20:5-7, 11-15, Revelation 21, etc. but can also be substantiated using Tenakh, and many of those scriptures will be referenced throughout this discourse) So then, continuing on, as the Bible tells us the tabernacle was a figure of the true in heaven where Christ is currently carrying out the work of the high priest, mediating on our behalf with his blood in the Holy of Holies (Heb. 9:11-12, 24, 8:1-2; Rev. 1:13; 1 Tim. 2:5, Dan. 8:14), which ministry we either attend by faith to receive forgiveness or else be cut off, just as in the day of Atonement (Lev. 23:28-29; for more on this concept see p.532, 537, Practical Lessons From the Experience of Israel for the Church of to-day by “F.C. Gilbbert-a Hebrew Christian), and likewise since we know according to scripture that no one but Christ has yet taken up a heavenly abode (the dead being in the ground until the 1st resurrection/judgement: Acts 2:29-30, 1 Cor. 15:20, Job 14:12, Ecc. 3:20, 12:7, Ps. 115:17, Ps. 146:4, Ecc. 9:5-6, Dan. 12:2, 1 Tim. 6:16, Heb. 9:27, Rev. 20:5-6, 11-15, 1 Thess. 4:15-17; 2 Thess. 2:1-3, 8, Mt. 24:3, 30-31, Ps. 6:5, etc.), it becomes evident that just as messiah’s death “outside the camp” foretold in atonement was literally fulfilled (Lev 16:27; Heb. 13:12-13), so to shall our High Priest’s “coming out” of the tabernacle foretold in Lev. 16:17 of see a literal fulfillment, even as it’s evidently described in John’s vision (Rev. 6:14-17, 19:15-21)!
2nd Coming According to Job
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.“-Job 19:25-27
Notice how Job indicates 1) that this would take place at latter point in history 2) after his body had already decayed. So Job knew that he would literally, in his own body, with his own eyes, see, and stand before God, on the earth. Just for the record, there is no conflict between this translation and original manuscript. And as we established above in the section on Yom Kippur, the dead in scripture are likened to be in a state of sleep without consciousness.
Do not these passages necessitate a literal Resurrection and the literal presence of Messiah? And wouldn’t that of course require a literal return of Messiah? The scriptures are very plain and are consistent. There’s no reason we should have to guess, or even maintain that it cannot be known. Otherwise what’s the point of prophecy? In fact when the 1st century Church heeded Messiah’s instructions for avoiding the prophesied destruction of Jerusalem, period sources tell us not one soul perished! (see pg.216-220 of Jonathan Gray’s Ark of the Covenant)
2nd Coming In the Psalms
“The LORD said unto my Lord [(Yeshua, see: Mt. 22:42-46)], Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool….And at that time shall Michael stand up [(also referring to Yeshua, see: Rev. 12:7; 1 Thess. 4:16)] , the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time: and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.“-Ps. 110:1; Dan. 12:1-2
And so what happens when the Lord gets up? We only need consult the tenakh:
“And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made each one for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. [(sound familiar? See: Revelation 6:16)]”-Is 2:19-21
“They come from a far country, from the end of heaven, even the Lord, and the weapons of his indignation, to destroy the whole land. Howl ye; for the day of the Lord is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty. Therefore shall all hands be faint, and every man’s heart shall melt: And they shall be afraid: pangs and sorrows shall take hold of them; they shall be in pain as a woman that travaileth: they shall be amazed one at another; their faces shall be as flames. Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate: and he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it…And I will punish the world for their evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; and I will cause the arrogancy of the proud to cease, and will lay low the haughtiness of the terrible. I will make a man more precious than fine gold; even a man than the golden wedge of Ophir. Therefore I will shake the heavens, and the earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.“-Is. 13:5-9, 11-13
“Send ye the lamb to the ruler of the land from Sela to the wilderness, unto the mount of the daughter of Zion...And in mercy shall the throne be established: and he shall sit upon it in truth in the tabernacle of David, judging, and seeking judgment, and hasting righteousness.“-Is. 16:1, 5
(also keep in mind Zech. 14:1, 3-4, 9, 12 from the section above)
And notice how the conclusion of these events described in Dan. 12:1-2 quoted above is that the dead shall then be raised and judged. Even the apostle Sha’ul had to contend over these matters, because they are all connected and when not properly reconciled tend towards the heresies of the gnostics who sought to spiritualize away the meaning of the scriptures and therefore ultimately the gospel (which is why John referred to them as the spirit of antichrist; 1 Jn. 4:2-3):
“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead?“-1 Cor. 15:12
Allow me to demonstrate what I’m trying to get at here by posing a couple questions: was Christ literally risen from the dead, or do the gospels/scripture merely detail some sort of spiritual ascension, perhaps even which all religions may lead to? Perhaps he didn’t even really die personally for our sins but it’s all spiritual allegory? Do you see the problem here? If we start to spiritualize away prophecy which has yet to be fulfilled, such as the destruction of the earth, judgement to come, and return of the Lord, etc. why stop there? Why would the prophecies of Messiah’s death, atonement, etc be literal, but the future prophecies not be? Shouldn’t we at least be consistent in our interpretation? And that’s exactly what’s going on today: under the banners of compromise a great ecumenical movement of all religions of the world, led ultimately by the pope, the U.N., World Council of Churches, and the other agents of the DEVIL’S world system (2 Cor.4:4; Mt.4:8-9) are seeking to establish “peace and security” outside of the literal return of Christ. And what did the apostle Paul say “For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.“- 1 Thess. 5:3 and remember this was stated in the very context of the “the Lord himself..descend[ing] from heaven“-1 Thess. 4:16
So the bottom line is we align ourselves with the enemies of Christ if we spiritualize away what is to be the culmination of Messiah’s work. Again, and as was elucidated above, even traditional Jews historically understood that Messiah would literally preside over His earthly kingdom! And again, let me ask you reader, how can this happen without a literal return? Let’s continue on in 1 Cor. 15, I think the context should render it pretty clear:
“And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. Then they also which are fallen asleep [dead] in Christ are perished. If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept [the dead]. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under his feet. But when he saith all things are put under him, it is manifest that he is excepted, which did put all things under him. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all...For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?“–1 Cor 15:17-28, 53-55
(and note verses 18-19 which conclusively prove this is not some sort of spiritual language, as the apostle draws the parallel between the asleep [G2837 which is translated “dead” in 1 cor. 7:39] in Christ perishing, and and having hope only in this life)
2nd Coming in the Teachings of Yeshua
In the Parable of the Talents, we read: “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man [(Jesus)] travelling into a far country [(heaven)], who called his own servants [(believers)], and delivered unto them his goods [(Holy Spirit)]… After a long time the lord of those servants cometh, and reckoneth with them…His lord said unto him, Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord…And cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.“-Mt 25:14, 18-19, 23, 30. Well it’s been 2000 years since Messiah’s ascension to heaven described in Acts 1. Do you think that constitutes a long time? And it cannot be some sort of spiritual language because the Holy spirit came within days of his ascension.
In the Parable of Marriage Supper, we read what is evidently describing events which have literally taken place pertaining to Kingdom of God in the history of mankind, as well as describing events which are yet to take place. It opens up in v. 2 explaining that the Parable describes God’s appointment of the reception of His Son, v. 3-6 detail that those who were supposed to receive Him, were not ready when it was announced the Son should come, that they hadn’t take their role seriously, and that they slew the prophets which were sent unto them. V. 7 describes the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus and his Armies in 70 AD, v. 8-10 deals with the “time of the gentiles (Lk. 21:24)” or the preaching of the Gospel to the gentiles, and primacy of “the church”, and then finally in v. 11 we see the Son coming as King, followed by the description of a judgement that culminates in the unworthy being cast into “outer darkness” in v. 12-14. And notice the parable makes special mention of those who’re at the wedding, but lacking the proper garment (i.e. righteousness of Christ). This is consistent with Mt. 7:21-23, which indicates that the judgment will take place on a day. This is the only way the scriptures can properly be reconciled, because according to the Apostle Paul the judgment day (described in both the old and the new testaments: Dan. 7:9-10, 13-14; Rev. 20:11-15; 1 Cor. 6:2-4; Rev. 20:2-4 ) takes place after death (Heb. 9:27). Yes, it’s true we are we’re always being judged in the sense that a man reaps what he sow’s, etc. But the scriptures clearly point to a singular future judgement (see Acts 17:31, and note it says “Because he hath appointed a day, in the which he will judge“. And he makes it clear it’s literal as it’s paired up with Christ’s Resurrection which was literal, and this being confirmed by many of the prophets including Daniel. This parable is paralleled in Matthew 21:33-44, and again, after it describes the apparent slaying of the Lord Jesus Christ we read, “When the lord therefore of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto those husbandmen? They say unto him, He will miserably destroy those wicked men, and will let out his vineyard unto other husbandmen, which shall render him the fruits in their seasons” (v.41). Then Jesus, after identifying Himself as “the stone” (v.42), goes on to say “whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken: but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (v.44). And notice how this is a parallel to Daniels vision in Daniel 2 where the literal nations which are depicted by a statue get physically destroyed in the end by the stone made without hands. (Daniel 2:44 – note, “not be left to other people“, i.e. no more generations, no more inheritence, no more death, etc.)
In the Parable of Sheep vs Goats we read: “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory: And before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: And he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left. Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world…Then shall he say also unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels…And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eternal..“-Mt. 25:31-34, 41, 46
Are these things not clear as day and consistent with the rest of scripture and everything we’ve established so far? Let’s keep moving..
Finally, in the Parable of the Wise vs. Foolish Virgins we read: “Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish…And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him…And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh.“-Mt. 25:1-2, 6, 10-13
Now we know this can’t be some sort of spiritual language, because it clearly indicates a period of time where “the door will be shut”, and Christ will turn down those that ask to come in His presence saying “I know you not”. Because remember in this dispensation, while one is yet alive, they may at anytime turn from their sins and come to Christ (see Rom. 10:13; Mt. 11:28; Rev. 3:20, 22:17, etc.) And yet scripture clearly indicates there will be a time when God cannot be found (Ps. 32:6-7; Is. 55:6-7, etc.), and notice it’s in the FLOODS he cannot be found, which is symbol of the literal judgement of Noah’s generation and paralleled by Peter’s epistle where he likens the flood of Noah to the flood of fire that shall be at the end of the word, but more on that later). Notice also in this parable that there were those who were warning of the soon coming of the bridegroom right before it happened, and the doom of those who were not expecting his coming.
Obviously I wont go through every parable, I’m probably already belaboring the point as it is.
Destruction of Jerusalem and 2nd Coming
In Matthew 24 we read of an occasion where the Disciples came to Jesus and asked Him the question, “…what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?“. Jesus answered their question by describing the following two events: 1) the destruction of Jerusalem (v. 1-2) and 2) the end of the world (v. 30-31). So why did the Lord Jesus respond likening two great events that would occur thousands of years apart? Because the literal destruction of Jerusalem by fire was a type in prophecy to be fulfilled by the anti-type when the world itself it literally destroyed by fire, which is exactly what Peter tells us (as we shall see below). Then, following this discourse, the Lord Jesus Himself makes sure we know that He’s speaking of a literal fulfillment, lets read, “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.“-v. 35-39. Again, allow me to demonstrate, there’s no question that there was a literal flood which betook the earth to cleanse it from the wicked. The archaeological record makes this perfectly clear. That is why sea shells can be found on the tops of mountains the world over, as well as trees “standing” straight-up through the stratigraphic layers. And furthermore this is the reason that the ancient histories/religions of nearly all cultures/races the world over contain the story of a great flood; because it actually happened!
Now let us consider the following excerpt from the book Great Controversy by E. G. White concerning the matter at hand (please keep in mind I am non-denominational and do not have a superstitious view of this woman. I quote her only on the grounds that I believe what she says has merit):
“The Saviour’s prophecy concerning the visitation of judgments upon Jerusalem is to have another fulfillment, of which that terrible desolation was but a faint shadow. In the fate of the chosen city we may behold the doom of a world that has rejected God’s mercy and trampled upon His law. Dark are the records of human misery that earth has witnessed during its long centuries of crime. The heart sickens, and the mind grows faint in contemplation. Terrible have been the results of rejecting the authority of Heaven. But a scene yet darker is presented in the revelations of the future. The records of the past,–the long procession of tumults, conflicts, and revolutions, the “battle of the warrior . . . with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood” (Isaiah 9:5),–what are these, in contrast with the terrors of that day when the restraining Spirit of God shall be wholly withdrawn from the wicked, no longer to hold in check the outburst of human passion and satanic wrath! The world will then behold, as never before, the results of Satan’s rule. But in that day, as in the time of Jerusalem’s destruction, God’s people will be delivered, everyone that shall be found written among the living. Isaiah 4:3. Christ has declared that He will come the second time to gather His faithful ones to Himself: “Then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.” Matthew 24:30, 31. Then shall they that obey not the gospel be consumed with the spirit of His mouth and be destroyed with the brightness of His coming. 2 Thessalonians 2:8. Like Israel of old the wicked destroy themselves; they fall by their iniquity. By a life of sin, they have placed themselves so out of harmony with God, their natures have become so debased with evil, that the manifestation of His glory is to them a consuming fire.
Let men beware lest they neglect the lesson conveyed to them in the words of Christ. As He warned His disciples of Jerusalem’s destruction, giving them a sign of the approaching ruin, that they might make their escape; so He has warned the world of the day of final destruction and has given them tokens of its approach, that all who will may flee from the wrath to come. Jesus declares: “There shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations.” Luke 21:25; Matthew 24:29; Mark 13:24-26; Revelation 6:12-17. Those who behold these harbingers of His coming are to “know that it is near, even at the doors.” Matthew 24:33. “Watch ye therefore,” are His words of admonition. Mark 13:35. They that heed the warning shall not be left in darkness, that that day should overtake them unawares. But to them that will not watch, “the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” 1 Thessalonians 5:2-5. The world is no more ready to credit the message for this time than were the Jews to receive the Saviour’s warning concerning Jerusalem. Come when it may, the day of God will come unawares to the ungodly. When life is going on in its unvarying round; when men are absorbed in pleasure, in business, in traffic, in money-making; when religious leaders are magnifying the world’s progress and enlightenment, and the people are lulled in a false security–then, as the midnight thief steals within the unguarded dwelling, so shall sudden destruction come upon the careless and ungodly, “and they shall not escape.“-Pg. 37-38
2nd coming and Peter’s Epistles
Peter in his epistles confirms that these interpretations are accurate. He even warns that people will be mocking the notion of the 2nd coming right before it happens! Let’s read:
“God...spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly…The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust unto the day of judgment to be punished…Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burned up. Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation and godliness, Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat? Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.“-2 Pet. 2:4-9; 3:3-13
And again, just for the record, the ruins of Sodom and Gomorrah were discovered by archaeologist Ron Wyatt, it was literally destroyed with fire and brimstone, just as the Bible records! These passages in Peter’s epistle are consist with many of the old testament prophecies such as Malachi 4:1, 5, and many places in Isaiah, let us read:
“For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain….For, behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh: and the slain of the Lord shall be many…For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain. And it shall come to pass, that from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord.“-Is. 26:21; 66:15-16, 22-23
“Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence: a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.“-Ps. 50:3-4
Indeed scripture makes clear that these judgements represent a consummation of the world, this age, dispensation, or whatever you want to call it, when God can no longer be found by the ungodly and careless, and it will be to late for those who have rejected light. This is one of the reasons why even the new testament teaches the fear of the Lord. So after reflecting on the reasons given in the portion of Peter’s epistle quoted above and in Gen. 6:5-7 as to why God destroyed the earth in former times, ask yourself reader, does it not sound like we are “ripe” once again for judgment today?
Theological Quandaries if Word Not Properly Divided
Let us consider that the Bible speaks of 1) a millennial reign, 2) a new heaven & earth, as well as another 3) 100 year period. If we ignore these details and distinctions regarding God’s plans, rather than seeking to reconcile them to the whole we’re going to end up all sorts of confused, and ultimately missing the big picture, or worse yet deceived.
Allow me to briefly demonstrate a couple of the theological quandaries we wind up in if we spiritualize away parts of prophecy to ‘not be literally be fulfilled.’
Just take for instance satan, as a spirit being, do you think he will just die of old age, disease, etc? Or do you think he’ll just go away? or give up his mystery of iniquity? Or maybe Satan will eventually be forgiven and submit to God and be saved? Of course not. But these ridiculous notions are all we’re left with if we reject the simple and clear solutions revealed in scripture. Obviously God is not going to just let these malevolent spirit beings continue to exist indefinitely, and neither will they change (Jer. 13:23). They’re going to be dealt with, and the only way that makes sense, is exactly as the scriptures describe. God tells us in His Word tells us that satan will be destroyed (Ezek 28:16, 18).
Or how about the fact that God tells us the earth itself and all creation are cursed since the time sin entered (Gen. 3:17; Rom. 8:22), do we not see that God’s prescribed remedy revealed in His Word for “a new heaven and earth” are the only solution? Even if the whole of mankind did embrace the truth and receive a new nature, would we not be deceiving ourselves to think a wolf and lamb will dwell peaceably together, as described in Isaiah 11:6, aside from receiving a new nature? Rather than the scripture teaching that all the sudden the world will start embracing the light and that the darkness would just go away, it states they very opposite (Amos 5:18; 8:11 for instance).
And again, we must also Keep in mind that this is all ultimately originated in a controversy between God, satan, and the heavenly host; which the fall of man and present condition of creation are merely a byproduct of. And hopefully it goes without saying that God’s not going to let humans indefinitely just keep being born and having to live in this temporal fallen existence of suffering and bloodshed (after all would that not be the epitome of eternal hell?), while at the same time operating a kingdom of peace in heaven (was it not the pagans who worship a god of duality?) And yet God tells us in scripture that He created the earth to be inhabited and gives us many other prophecies regarding his plans for his people on this earth (these will be covered in the excerpt below). There must be a consummation to the “great controversy” as Ellen G. White called it and the spirit beings dealt with . Even if mere observation of the earth itself and human history did not clearly indicate a linear nature with an obvious decay, devolution, etc. Jesus Himself indicated than rather than embracing peace, all flesh would be ultimately destroyed if these things are not settled (Mt. 24:22).
Again, let’s consider a final portion from the book Great Controversy:
“Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. The day has come that shall burn as an oven. The elements melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein are burned up. Malachi 4:1; 2 Peter 3:10. The earth’s surface seems one molten mass–a vast, seething lake of fire. It is the time of the judgment and perdition of ungodly men–“the day of the Lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion.” Isaiah 34:8. The wicked receive their recompense in the earth. Proverbs 11:31. They “shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts.” Malachi 4:1. Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days. All are punished “according to their deeds.” The sins of the righteous having been transferred to Satan, he is made to suffer not only for his own rebellion, but for all the sins which he has caused God’s people to commit. His punishment is to be far greater than that of those whom he has deceived. After all have perished who fell by his deceptions, he is still to live and suffer on. In the cleansing flames the wicked are at last destroyed, root and branch–Satan the root, his followers the branches. The full penalty of the law has been visited; the demands of justice have been met; and heaven and earth, beholding, declare the righteousness of Jehovah.
Satan’s work of ruin is forever ended. For six thousand years he has wrought his will, filling the earth with woe and causing grief throughout the universe. The whole creation has groaned and travailed together in pain. Now God’s creatures are forever delivered from his presence and temptations. “The whole earth is at rest, and is quiet: they [the righteous] break forth into singing.” Isaiah 14:7. And a shout of praise and triumph ascends from the whole loyal universe. “The voice of a great multitude,” “as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings,” is heard, saying: “Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.” Revelation 19:6. While the earth was wrapped in the fire of destruction, the righteous abode safely in the Holy City. Upon those that had part in the first resurrection, the second death has no power. While God is to the wicked a consuming fire, He is to His people both a sun and a shield. Revelation 20:6; Psalm 84:11. “I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.” Revelation 21:1. The fire that consumes the wicked purifies the earth. Every trace of the curse is swept away. No eternally burning hell will keep before the ransomed the fearful consequences of sin.
One reminder alone remains: Our Redeemer will ever bear the marks of His crucifixion. Upon His wounded head, upon His side, His hands and feet, are the only traces of the cruel work that sin has wrought. Says the prophet, beholding Christ in His glory: “He had bright beams coming out of His side: and there was the hiding of His power.” Habakkuk 3:4, margin. That pierced side whence flowed the crimson stream that reconciled man to God–there is the Saviour’s glory, there “the hiding of His power.” “Mighty to save,” through the sacrifice of redemption, He was therefore strong to execute justice upon them that despised God’s mercy. And the tokens of His humiliation are His highest honor; through the eternal ages the wounds of Calvary will show forth His praise and declare His power.” O Tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto Thee shall it come, even the first dominion.” Micah 4:8. The time has come to which holy men have looked with longing since the flaming sword barred the first pair from Eden, the time for “the redemption of the purchased possession.” Ephesians 1:14. The earth originally given to man as his kingdom, betrayed by him into the hands of Satan, and so long held by the mighty foe, has been brought back by the great plan of redemption. All that was lost by sin has been restored. “Thus saith the Lord . . . that formed the earth and made it; He hath established it, He created it not in vain, He formed it to be inhabited.” Isaiah 45:18. God’s original purpose in the creation of the earth is fulfilled as it is made the eternal abode of the redeemed. “The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein forever.” Psalm 37:29.
A fear of making the future inheritance seem too material has led many to spiritualize away the very truths which lead us to look upon it as our home. Christ assured His disciples that He went to prepare mansions for them in the Father’s house. Those who accept the teachings of God’s word will not be wholly ignorant concerning the heavenly abode. And yet, “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love Him.” 1 Corinthians 2:9. Human language is inadequate to describe the reward of the righteous. It will be known only to those who behold it. No finite mind can comprehend the glory of the Paradise of God. In the Bible the inheritance of the saved is called “a country.” Hebrews 11:14-16. There the heavenly Shepherd leads His flock to fountains of living waters. The tree of life yields its fruit every month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the nations. There are ever-flowing streams, clear as crystal, and beside them waving trees cast their shadows upon the paths prepared for the ransomed of the Lord. There the wide-spreading plains swell into hills of beauty, and the mountains of God rear their lofty summits. On those peaceful plains, beside those living streams, God’s people, so long pilgrims and wanderers, shall find a home.
“My people shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, and in sure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.” “Violence shall no more be heard in thy land, wasting nor destruction within thy borders; but thou shalt call thy walls Salvation, and thy gates Praise.” “They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: . . . Mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” Isaiah 32:18; 60:18; 65:21, 22. There, “the wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose.” “Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir tree, and instead of the brier shall come up the myrtle tree.” “The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; . . . and a little child shall lead them.” “They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” saith the Lord. Isaiah 35:1; 55:13; 11:6, 9.
Pain cannot exist in the atmosphere of heaven. There will be no more tears, no funeral trains, no badges of mourning. “There shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying: . . . for the former things are passed away.” “The inhabitant shall not say, I am sick: the people that dwell therein shall be forgiven their iniquity.” Revelation 21:4; Isaiah 33:24. There is the New Jerusalem, the metropolis of the glorified new earth, “a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God.” “Her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal.” “The nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” Saith the Lord: “I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in My people.” “The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Isaiah 62:3; Revelation 21:11, 24; Isaiah 65:19; Revelation 21:3.
The great controversy is ended. Sin and sinners are no more. The entire universe is clean. One pulse of harmony and gladness beats through the vast creation. From Him who created all, flow life and light and gladness, throughout the realms of illimitable space. From the minutest atom to the greatest world, all things, animate and inanimate, in their unshadowed beauty and perfect joy, declare that God is love.“-Pg.672-678
“The Lord reigneth; let the people tremble: he sitteth between the cherubims; let the earth be moved.“-Ps. 99:1
The Ark of the covenant was discovered by Ron Wyatt in 1982, and it turned out to be quite a bit different than most artistic representations. Especially in one particularly notable way as it relates to the subject at hand. Rather than the cherubim being placed directly on top of the mercy seat, as it’s so often depicted, their bodies were in fact attached to the ark at the sides. And their wings, rather than being connected through the center of the Ark actually connected much further back along the outer edge. So in other words, the space of the entire mercy seat was left open. Could it be that God inspired this design because it will eventually literally be used as a seat (i.e. a throne) when the earth is made new? That just as in former dispensations it throned the shekinah glory of the Lord, so God intends that it should in due time literally be the earthly “throne of david” from which Messiah will rule when the heaven and earth are made new? It is after all proper dimensions. And when one thinks about it, wouldn’t that make sense?
There countless numbers of us believers who’ve been given special insight into prophecies contained in the book of Revelation and elsewhere. And in the spirit we see all around us those things described coming to pass, confirming our interpretations, and signaling the close of the age. In fact one of the next posts I will be working on will be titled “Can Your Hear the Trump-Pence?” where I will be sharing some of the major universal signposts the Lord has revealed to me that he’s put in display for all the world that have eyes to see and ears to hear, to know what’s about to take place. Prophecy does indicate a great revival of “Christianity” and conversion of the world, however it indicates that this will be a false form of Christianity, and will result in what’s known as the mark of the beast. The only way to avoid the great religious decepetion headed by the grand deceiver who masquerades as an angel of light is to understand the prophecies, and that’s precisely why they were given to us.
And so finally, let cry out together to God with all our hearts. As the people of the Jewish religion continue to be driven more and more to cry out in true repentance for their Messiah, and likewise as we believers in Yeshua unite in crying out with all their heart for Messiah’s return, so shall He come in answer to both parties prayers, to restore all things. Truly and only then will there be world peace, and likewise Jew and Gentile one, “…Even so, come, Lord Jesus.“-Rev. 22:20d
Additional Random Articles and Scriptures
“Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.“-Lk. 21:26-27
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.“-Mt. 24:14
“For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works.“-Mt. 16:27
“I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?“-Lk. 18:8
“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.“-Jn 14:2-3
“But that which ye have already hold fast till I come. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my Father.”-Rev. 2:25-27